Earworms 25 November 2013

There’s an extra-terrestrial tinge to the worms this week, and a welcome return from ejaydee. Give yourself some “space” and have a listen – where else could you find Les Sautrelles, Yapoos and Sister Sledge, all in the same place? Many thanks and keep the worms coming to earworms@tincanland.com – don’t forget to send a Christmas worm to feature on 23 December, assuming I’m still coherent by then.

Kitchens of Distinction – From Japan to Jupiter – ghe: For reasons I don’t understand, I’m partial to songs imagining being an astronaut (OneEskimo – Astronauts, Stones – 2000 light years from home, Bowie – Space Oddity, Imagined Village – Space Girl, and loads more). Now the excellent new album from Kitchens of Distinction adds another – although ‘Japan to Jupiter’ is really an anthemic wallow deep in the trough of nostalgia.

Les Sauterelles – The Heavenly Club – beltway: I make little secret of my love for 60’s Europop, and this is a real gem from Zurich Beat group Les Sauterelles, who apparently were known as “The Swiss Beatles”, which may be over-egging it a bit, but it’s a suitably heavenly melody with obligatory clunky lyrics conflating a near death experience with a visit to a nightclub – how can you not love a song that has the opening gambit “One time when I was drunk and I was going to die…”. Splendid production on this and some great hooks.

Una – Angels At My Door – Shoegazer: Not many trip hop worms, so here’s one by Una. It’s a cover: ‘Spill points if you know the original. If you like this one (from “One” in ’07) they have a new “The Laughing Man EP” & an album of remixes which includes some other takes of this here tune.

Thinking of You – Sister Sledge – ejaydee: Slightly later than I had planned I have an earworm, and I have to go with the first dance of our wedding. I’ve loved this song since I first heard it at a fancy cinema party my friend and I crashed into. As the string-laden bridge (or is it middle eight?) played, I spun my head trying the read the label trying to follow the spinning vinyl. One of my favourite intros ever, with that shimmering guitar and piercing, teasing bass, it’s probably my top Chic produced song. Luckily my wife loves the song too and the lyrics fit so it was an easy choice for our first dance. Now I’ll mostly remember it for the great moments a wedding provides. P.S. During the build-up to the event, I kept thinking about the weddings that were mentioned on here, DsD’s escape to the Bahamas, Tracy’s engagement and subsequent wedding in Hawai’i, Steenbeck’s cicadas and cassette player, the songs you all played … I joined the club!

Yapoos – Not Dead Luna – Pairubu: Featuring the unsurpassable semi-operatic voice of Jun Togawa, this is very, very “80s”, in feel , thought it dates from 1992, I believe. Jun’s lyrics are often rather “gothic”, she was closely associated with the “Ero-guro” scene, a Japanese art scene that focuses on eroticism, dismemberment, snakes and stuff like that ( I’d advise against Googling it).

Never Going Back Again – Fleetwood Mac – goneforeign: Now I know that probably everyone here will know this song by heart but that doesn’t stop it from being a great Earworm, it is for me. I remember that I bought the album, ‘Rumours’  based solely on the photo on the cover, I didn’t know FM, but as soon as I put it on I realized they were all great cuts. This one in particular grabbed me, I love the guitar/voice interaction.

26 thoughts on “Earworms 25 November 2013

  1. KoD – This is from the new album? Very good, I like it. Like they’ve never been away, to be honest.

    Les Sauterelles – Yeah, I can feel the quality, but I’m unfortunately unmoved by it. Sorry, BB.

    Una – Mmmm, that got an instant repeat play. Reminds me of something that I can’t quite place, so yes, “worminess” quotient plenty high enough to pass.

    Sister Sledge – Smoooooooth, possibly a little too much so for me (even though I know it so well I found myself singing along!). But hey, Ed, did I know you’d got married? Memory like a sieve at the moment. Congrats, mate.

    Yapoos – Most alien to me, unsurprisingly. Woah! She’s just gone all Wuthering Heights!!! Oh, I see, yes, you did warn us about that. Pleasantly odd, or oddly pleasant even.

    Fleetwood Mac – Rumours is one of those albums I never play because I feel I don’t have to anymore. That plus the fact I’ve never replaced my vinyl copy. I suspect I’m not the only person that would say that.

  2. An out of this world selection box this week, not too keen on Sister Sledge’s efforts and the vocals on Una didn’t appeal for some reason but the rest are A*s

  3. Not got the wherewithal to listen to these at present (and AliM, nor have I forgotten that I’m meant to be sending you some ‘worms, but my PC’s on the blink so my tunes are quarantined) but I had to acknowledge ejaydee – as bish says, great to see you, wonderful to hear your news, and very very sweet to read a description of Thinking Of You that matches my feelings about it almost to the letter. I have a particular obsession with the playing of Thinking Of You in a wedding disco. To me, it should be to wedding DJs what a bechamel sauce is to a chef – if you get a request for Sister Sledge and you play We Are Family instead, you should be bagging up fish heads and taking them out to the bins for a week.

  4. Hello to EJD and congratulations on your wedding.
    I do love that Sister Sledge song. That and the Fleetwood Mac are both familiar – the FM one I like but didn’t always. Never bought Rumours at the time, disliked the revamped Mac on principal and took a while to actually listen to the songs and hear that they were pretty good.

    Faves of the others: The Yapoos, I liked. Odd but fun. I did Google Ero-Guro of course. Oh deary me. Una was very slinky and atmospheric. Have played it three times now. No idea who did the original but then I don’t know anything about music after 1472.

    The other two I quite enjoyed but couldn’t get over-enthusiastic about (yes, I can sometimes). The Kitchens may grow on me – sounded better the second time around so will listen again. The Swiss Beatles were ok – reminded me of another sixties Brit group but I’m buggered if I can think who. That’s going to nag at me for ages now.

    A game of three halves.

  5. I loved that Una track! And the others were pretty good too (although not all ‘my thing’). I’m not sure I’ve ever listened to Rumours (or much else after they caught the big hair disease).

    Congratulations, ejay!

  6. Another bloody example of why we should always write posts and comments for WordPress offline and then cut and paste. Not that it was that significant. I’ll try and remember what I said. It went something like this; Could we relate to the music without our ‘big hair’ biasses and our ‘principles’ being involved and just listen with our ears and our eyes closed? I’ve often wondered why it would be inappropriate to post either Clapton or Sting on here, I have both in my iTunes. We recently got away with a bit of Wagner and that was a step in the right direction, right?
    Anyhow, glad to see whatshisname back here, where you been all this time, often wondered about you, You got pictures of the big day?
    As I stated earlier I knew nothing about FM when I bought the album, I later read somewhere that there were some marital shenanigans, it didn’t change my opinion of the music.

  7. Can’t speak for anyone else but I thought the whole point of what I wrote was that I disliked the “ne” Fleetwood Mac on principle 35 years ago – but I’ve given them a fair listen since. I think most people had more musical “blind spots” when they were twenty than they do in their fifties.

    It wouldn’t be inappropriate to post Clapton or Sting or anyone else here. I’ve sent in worms by Matt Monro and from the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge. Not everybody liked them (to say the least) but they were all grist to the mill.

    • I’ll speak for someone else then….

      Although I just invented ‘big hair disease’, I’m quite happy with it as a description of a change that seemed to take place in the band – and in pop music generally – when Stevie Nicks and Lyndsey Buckingham joined. Although admittedly a lazy put-down of the visual appearance, to me it also suits the production values that came to be applied to the music: expansive, glossy and often overblown; style over substance.
      I have seen the Classic Albums prog about Rumours, I now recall. There’s a drama in it (i.e. in its songs) that just doesn’t interest me. It’s well-crafted, well-played and well sung but it’s a soap opera that I can admire but don’t particularly want to hear. The track gf picked is good but I think it’s atypical in its understatement.

      As for Clapton & Sting, I wouldn’t object to any of their stuff appearing here, despite their actual or perceived twattishness. Clapton could play some good guitar (although only in one, quite narrow field), Police made fantastic pop records and I actually admire the way Sting has kept looking for new musical avenues. It takes great stamina to do that……

    • I’ll try that again:

      Hey ejaydee – lovely to see you – and congratulations.

      (I’ve got a stinking cold at the moment and my head is full of fug or fuzz – or something)

  8. Chris, I thought that would trigger a response and of course I appreciate your thoughts but I don’t hear the ‘expansive, glossy and often overblown ‘style over substance’ nor do I see the ‘soap opera’, I do agree re. ‘well-crafted, well-played and well sung’. I thought ‘Rumors’ was a great album.
    One of the advantages/disadvantages of living in exile is in that you miss out on lots of details, lots of currents in pop culture, particularly in the pre internet era, consequently when I read comments here about Sting or Clapton’s twattishness I have no idea what it’s all about, I can only relate to the music, which in Sting’s case I quite enjoy.
    Severin, my initial response was to the words ‘on principle’, how does that relate to music? I might agree re. film or literature or theatre, they’re more ‘realist’ but you caused me to re-think my position.
    I might choose to ignore ‘on principle’ someone like this Miley Cyrus person, I’ve never heard her but the voluminous coverage she gets turns me off from her as a person. Similar for the content of much hio-hop, though there my attitude is more aesthetically related.

    • @ GF & Chris re Fleetwood Mac:

      I think my personal opinion probably bridges the gap between you two.
      I concur with “glossy”, “expansive” and “well-crafted, well-played and well-sung”, but NOT with “overblown”; “style over substance”.
      I have a theory that those latter ‘accusations’ are determined by hindsight, and in this case find it a logical premise that it was made by someone who is a musician fan of a band with a huge history of soundboard recording releases, which almost by definition, cannot possibly have had the time to be buffed-to-a-high-shine like albums such as Rumours, Bat Out Of Hell, Queen’s A Night At The Opera, etc.

      For me, I don’t listen to Rumours any more because (a) it did get ubiquitously familiar, and I have, I suppose, *reacted* against that; and (b) eventually, that smoothness meant there were no hooks to keep a hold of me (if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor).

      It doesn’t mean I don’t like it, or don’t appreciate it, I do – on both counts. But in a similar way to magicman‘s RR comment last week about “never needing to hear [Led Zep’s] Whole Lotta Love ever again”, I have simply never found the justification for queue-jumping Rumours up the DsD digitisation list.

      • I may be wrong about ‘overblown’ and ‘style over substance’ (but i doubt I’m going to re-listen to their ouevre just to argue a point). It’s what I felt at the time, though, not hindsight; I never heard a soundboard recording until this millennium….

        • Oh. Oh well, that blows that theory out of the water!

          But you see we both expressed the same apathy towards re-evaluation of Rumours? I think there’s something about the LP’s slickness that our respective tastes – although FM are encompassed therein – have rejected.

          … eeesh …

          There’s a valid point I’m trying to make here, but I’m making a right Horlicks of doing it!!!

          Does anyone get what I’m trying to say here?

  9. Not had a chance to listen yet, but wanted to join the congrats to EJD on his nuptials – would be lovely to hear a bit more from you both…

  10. Would like to add my congrats to Mr and Mrs ejay!
    Thoroughly enjoyed this set this week, suitably celestial in its atmosphere.

    KoD – As beautiful a song as you would expect, great to hear one of their new ones. I realised that my very favorite KoD song (When in Heaven) would also have fitted well into this set

    Una – Fantastic, the sort of stuff I need to hear more of, love the atmosphere.

    Sister Sledge – probably a bit smooth for my day to day listening tastes but I can see perfectly why you would choose it for a first dance, the sentiment is beautiful for that moment, and it is a sweet tune (our first dance was Jackie Wilson’s “Sweetest Feeling” which I wondered if it was a bit too ubiquitous, particularly as it was on a Debenhams advert at that time, but eventually we thought “sod it, we like it!”

    Yapoos – liked this, suitably quirky, particularly the bits where she suddenly goes hyper-operatic!

    FM – I have no problem voicing how much I like Rumours, or Tusk or even some tracks off Tango in the Night. 15 or so years ago, I probably wouldn’t have admitted that even to myself! Challenging my own prejudices has been something I’ve been trying to do more of over the last few years and albums like Rumours have gone flying up in my estimation as a result. This is one of those under appreciated tracks on the album that might feel like filler at the first listen, but as Chris mentions, the production is so minimal that it is sort of eclipsed by the big songs, but its simple elegance is refreshing – and I’ve been humming that guitar riff all night so it’s deffo an earworm!

  11. Hello everyone, and thank you for the kind words.
    No worries Dsd, you didn’t know, it happened in early October.
    So how is everyone?
    Good to hear some ‘Spill tunes by the way.

  12. I really enjoyed Una and Sister Sledge, I’d like to add my congratulations to ejaydee, I’ve never listened to Rumours or any post Peter Green Fleetwood Mac deliberately, does that make me unusual?

    • Possibly. By some quirk of fate they were playing a selection of Fleetwood Mac songs in the pub the other night, and a guy at the bar thought every track was “Sara” – until “Sara” came on and then he thought it was “Rhiannon”. Is this significant? Probably not, but I’ve been humming “Sara” ever since.

  13. Save for FM & Sister Sledge I really couldn’t feel the earworm this week. Sorry. Sister Sledge is really fine & now I can connect to Ejaydee’s happy occasion. Seems perfect. Congrats EJD. Any Lyndsey Buckingham tune is almost an earworm by definition. He’s a master of the pop hook. Although I find agreement with some of the comments above and I myself have professed being worn out by the Rumours album I’ve had recent occasion for a re-listen and am in the midst of reconsideration. Perhaps a future post. Dunno.

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